March 18, 2005 Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Lunch, Mayor Phil Gordon State of the City Address – It was a lovely Friday lunch with Mayor Phil Gordon and about 800 guests at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. I sat at table 40 along with attractive and well dressed Joanne Fried, from Uhaul, Richard Wherty, RC Wherty Construction, who has great sense of humor, and Paul Brown, Goodwill of Central Arizona, and former Bostonian. And a couple of really nice folks from various businesses in Phoenix I regrettable did not get their names. We were all eager to hear Mayor Phil Gordon’s State of City Address, and to learn about the new vision for Phoenix and what his plans are to make it happen.
The best of business meetings should always include food of some sort. Breaking bread is a sign of fostering trust and community outreach. I get the impression Phoenix is reaching out to the community for support. The Hyatt catered event for Chamber of Greater Phoenix whose members paid $55 to attend, while those of us including myself who have not decided to join the chamber paid $65. Lunch consisted of mixed green salad, fish and beef with Foie Gras (at least I thought that’s what topped the beef), and Tiramisu for dessert.
Among the clatter of plates was the chatter of intrigue, what will Mayor Phil tell us? My only hope was he would read my involved question about the T-Gen. I love science and love new sciences and only hope the bigger picture will include Nano-tech. Rich, who sat to my left laughed at the length of my question and my optimism that it will be answered. Well at least I’m asking questions instead of speculating and complaining, a mental activity I usually part take in. Being raised in the short times of JFK I will roll up my selves and do what my community asks of me or at least what I think my community needs for the betterment of it.
As we sipped our coffees and licked the spoons of our dessert. Mayor Phil engaged us with his speech. He painted a vision of the future of Phoenix with roadmap to lead to better education, more public safety and an abundance of jobs. My ears peaked when he spoke of the light rail and how that will improve Phoenix. The light rail in other cities like Chicago, Denver, Downtown LA and to some extent New York has vastly improved transportation routes in and out to of those cities. Light rail makes it easier for Urbanites, like myself to live in the City. What Central Phoenix needs more of is urban dwellers. By having more urban dwellers will make a more beautiful habitable City of Phoenix. Look at the beauty of Chicago, Denver and Downtown LA! Eye appealing architecture and pedestrian walkways sprinkled with art and fountains would make any outer borough dweller want to visit and welcome more tourists.
Scratchy throat and failing voice did not stop the Mayor from completing his speech he ended by saying, “Phoenix is on the rise”. Yes, indeed it is. I like this mayor’s strength in vision and hope we can get behind him in his efforts to make change happen. Phoenix certainly should to be counted among the greatest cities for business, for life, for art and for spirit. We, Phoenician deserve that wonderful future this forward thinking passionate mayor can create and provide us.